A high school in Clovis, New Mexico has banned all extra-curricular clubs from meeting during school hours or using school resources to meet after a gay club was formed.

The Clovis school board voted in favor of the change at a Tuesday night meeting.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico has called on school officials to reconsider.

“Non-curricular activities are a vital part of any educational program and provide students with enriching and rewarding experiences,” ACLU of New Mexico staff attorney Alexandra Freedman Smith wrote in a letter to the board. “At Clovis High School, you have non-curricular service clubs, religious clubs, a chess club, and other similarly engaging groups. To simply discontinue these clubs would deprive all students of a rich and diverse set of activities to engage in outside of class. Eliminating these clubs would doubtlessly diminish the vibrancy of the high school community in Clovis.”

School officials have denied the charge that it acted to thwart the formation of a gay-straight alliance club, saying the timing was coincidental. Such clubs are meant to create a safe space for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning students.

“This sort of tactic has been used in the past by school districts to discourage gay-straight clubs from forming,” Micah McCoy of the ACLU of New Mexico said. “A lot of alarm bells went off when we saw this.”